Four major oil giants, ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, and Equinor, have agreed to end their lawsuits that collectively attempted to enforce multibillion dollar arbitration awards against a Nigerian state-owned oil company, Reuters reported.
The four companies requested two federal judges to pause their legal action against Nigerian National Petroleum Co. (NNPC) so that their agreements would be effective most likely by late October.
On August 12, NNPC extended its agreements with the four businesses and TotalEnergies.
These agreements related to five deep-water blocks that, according to officials, could generate up to 10 billion barrels of oil over a 20-year period.
Exxon and Shell had been attempting to enforce an arbitration award against NNPC for $1.8 billion since 2011, and Chevron and Equinor had been attempting to enforce an award for $995 million since 2015.
Both were the result of allegations that NNPC had extracted more oil than was allowed by agreements that were signed in 1993 and were meant to entice oil corporations to spend billions of dollars on exploration and development.
According to court documents, the awards have since gotten bigger and are now together worth close to $4 billion.
To give the NNPC accords time to take effect, U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield and U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel issued separate orders that ordered the dismissal of the Exxon-Shell action and the 45-day stay of the Chevron-Equinor case.